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IT professional (and Arduino cap fan) John Milner had a minor problem. While his retro gaming setup could emulate a wide variety of systems and games, it was still missing the tactile feedback of the original controllers. Rather than “submit” to playing with only an Xbox 360 controller, he developed the Multijoy Retro Gaming System that can change gamepads with the turn of a knob using an Arduino Micro.

The resulting system lets him not only choose the original controller for each game, but if you want to mix things up and see how Super Mario Bros. would feel on a PlayStation 1, or even a Genesis controller, you can do that too! It also features shortcut buttons on the new console.

The Arduino presents itself as two joypads with native plug-and-play support for Microsoft Windows 7+ and Linux/RetroPie. The selector is simply a ring of LEDs with a potentiometer in the center, using the knob will move the lit LED to the desired controller pictured in that position, a simple system with an unexpected bonus of being a little retro in its appearance.

You can check it out in the video below, and see more of the project on his blog and on GitHub.

After booting up his RetroPie system, [jfrmilner] had the distinct feeling that something was off. Realizing that the modern Xbox 360 controller didn’t fit right when reliving the games of his youth, he rounded up all his old controllers to make sure he always had the right gamepad for the game.

Wanting to keep the controllers unmodified — so they could still be used on the original systems — he had to do a bit of reverse-engineering and source some controller sockets before building his controller hub. Using shift-in registers, shift-out registers, and some multiplexers, he designed a large circuit selector — which acts as a shield for an Arduino Micro — so all the controllers remain connected. A potentiometer allows him to select the desired controller and a few arcade buttons which access RetroPie shortcuts really round out the hub. Check out the demo after the break!

[jfrmilner] kept the controllers relevant to the games he would be playing, but we hope there’s some room to include a controller in rug format in his build. Of course, there’s always the option of Jerry-rigging old systems to use your preferred retro gamepad.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Raspberry Pi


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